Measurement of the spent fuel rod cladding temperature during the in pile testing at 500 – 900°c
The paper focuses on the measurement of the VVER-1000 spent fuel rod cladding temperature in the course of the in-pile testing performed at 500-900°С in the MIR reactor channel to obtain data on the fuel rods behavior under the parameters typical or the maximal design-basis loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). If the objective is to study the cladding deformation of spent fuel rod, it is very important to take measurements of cladding temperature with no any impact (thermal, mechanical etc.) on it in the region of the maximum straining.
To conduct rapid experiments in the MIR reactor channels where irradiation testing of fuel rods is performed in the vapor-gas medium, a cladding temperature measurement system was developed so that the cladding was not exposed to external influences in the region of the maximum straining.
The thermocouple hot junction is pressed to the cladding when installed into the spacer grid to avoid the external influence on the cladding. A lab-scale facility was used to study the thermometric characteristic of the thermocouple junction unit that is related to the influence of the spacer grid on the unit thermal state. The laboratory-scale experiment with the use of dummy fuel rod instrumented with the internal electrical heater made it possible to obtain error correction system for readings of thermocouples which were installed into the spacer grids to take temperature recordings in the region of the maximum straining of fuel cladding.
The procedure was applied in the in-pile experiments to study the fuel rod cladding deformation. The obtained experimental data were used to estimate the cladding temperature for the high burnup fuel rod to conduct irradiation testing in the MIR reactor under the conditions of maximum design-basis LOCA in the VVER-1000 reactor.
These data were in good agreement with the post-irradiation examination data of fuel rods and were confirmed with the calculation modelling.
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